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All aboard for voyage into town’s naval past

Published on 27/02/17

Students from Trafalgar College have become sailors for the day to celebrate Great Yarmouth’s historical links to Admiral Lord Nelson.

The Year 7 students visited the town’s Time And Tide Museum on Wednesday, February 22 for the England Expects event, organised by the Norfolk Museums Service, to get a first-hand taste of what naval life was like in the time of Nelson.

The shipmates took part in swashbuckling sword practice, put their cannon-firing skills to the test, and learned how to remove shrapnel from battle wounds.

The students also found out about the life of Nelson, who was born in Norfolk and visited Great Yarmouth several times in his distinguished career, before being mortally wounded during his defeat of Napoleon’s fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

At lunchtime they gathered around the mess table to try authentic dishes such as salted beef, pickled red cabbage – high in vitamin C to protect against scurvy – and grog (made with pretend rum).

Although the rations weren’t to everyone’s taste, the students gave a thumbs-up to the whole visit, describing it as “exciting” and “a fun way of learning about Nelson and his links to our school”.

Humanities teacher Paul Nice, who co-ordinated the trip, said: “This visit was a fantastic way for us to find out more about the history of Nelson and Great Yarmouth, and inspire our students to take pride in the town’s heritage.

“It’s really important for our school community to have a strong knowledge of Great Yarmouth’s history, so that we can have a sense of who we are and where we’re going, through understanding where we have come from.”